Open Letter to Pope Francis: A Father Guides
Dear Pope Francis,
Thank you for fathering us generously. You eschew formalities, which invites us to pour out contradictions—desires in conflict. With you, we cannot hide behind ‘religion.’ You invite us to become good, not just to look good.
We know the truth but struggle to live it, especially in our sexuality. We the Church have not done a great job in providing safe, sacred spaces to face our divided lives. We need guidance, and one another, to take ground in authentic chastity.
That’s what I do, Father. Since 1980, I have created communities called ‘Living Waters’ in churches around the world where Christians offer to Jesus wounds that divide and sins that deride us. We tend to sexualize deep needs for love. Jesus helps us: He transforms human gaps into riverbeds of His mercy.
This requires some artful fathering. People need boundaries to experience safety; they also need empowered friends with whom to heal and take next steps into relational maturity. I tried to do this for my four children and was somewhat successful; for that, I honor my parents who loved each other to the end.
Such fatherly guidance is imperative in today’s moral landscape. The signposts are unclear, especially for abused and abandoned ones, the unconfirmed. Once scandalous solutions to vulnerable lives—coming out as ‘gay’, cross-dressing, refusing one’s sex altogether—are now hip and laudable. We are in disgrace.
That confusion is rife in the Church. You Father know that the German Church just voted to approve blessing of same-sex unions, with a pledge to push for more ‘LGBTQ+’ rights. Hear me Father, the road goes down and down. As soon as the Church starts ‘codifying’ persons as any sexual identification other than male and female, activists will push for inclusion of all forms of sexual disintegration. You cannot ‘bless’ non-descript same-sex couples without welcoming drag queens. Both are fissures of the same fault line.
The truth is, there is no such thing as an intrinsically LGBTQ+ person: only sons and daughters of one Father who need to be loved into their original dignity as men and women. That requires wise and loving fathers.
To be honest, Father, you have not been clear in your pastoral application of Church teaching for persons with same-sex attraction. Since the start of your pontificate, I hear you advocate for ‘gay’ persons but have never heard you express the words ‘repentance’ and ‘homosexuality’ in the same breath. Yet how can one with such a profound vulnerability find freedom in chastity amid our unchaste culture without turning wholly to Jesus and Church?
My fruitfulness as a husband, father, and minister hinged on nothing less; I praise God for caring fathers who guided this ‘gay’ man to give all away for Jesus.
Hear your contradiction. On one hand, you cite ‘gender ideology as one of the most dangerous ideological colonializations.’ Yet you appear highly protective of persons who identify as ‘gay’ and are in ‘gay’ unions! Why else would you allegedly counsel Juan Carlos Cruz, a ‘gay’-identified activist and a victim of clerical abuse, that ‘God made you that way and loves you just as you are’?
You confuse us by advocating for ‘gay’ people while railing against the very powers that drive everyone on the rainbow spectrum, beginning with its instigators—persons who identify as ‘gay’ and don’t want to repent of it. You cannot have it both ways. Gender ideology began with the ‘right’ to socially identify and relate and politicize as ‘gay.’ To name that as ‘dangerous’ means every ‘gay’ person endangers self and others. Do you see your divide?
Pope Francis, in the many contradictions of our disintegrated lives, we do not need your contradiction. We need guidance, wise partners in our repentance.
I love your devotion to one of the best guides available, St. Joseph, whose paternity you extol ‘Patris corde.’ Please don’t falter as a guide to vulnerable sons and daughters of the Church. We who face same-sex attraction need it.